Saturday reading: Friday recaps, Enga, Heil, Roos, Slavin

Here is The Gazette’s game story on No. 2 Denver’s 6-5 road win over No. 14 Colorado College from Friday night and the Denver Post’s take.

Not surprisingly, all four WCHA games were very tight, decided by a total of two goals in two wins with two ties.

From the WCHA …

No. 3 Minnesota 2, Wisconsin 2

MINNEAPOLIS – Junior forward Michael Mersch scored his second goal of the game at 5:06 of the second period to lift Wisconsin into a 2-2 tie with Minnesota on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.

Minnesota Duluth 4, No. 5/6 North Dakota 4

GRAND FORKS — Senior defenseman Drew Olson scored at 14:08 of the third period to propel Minnesota Duluth into a 4-4 tie with North Dakota on Friday night at Engelstad Arena.

Michigan Tech 5, Bemidji State 4 OT

BEMIDJI — Freshman forward Alex Petan scored 2:12 into overtime as Michigan Tech scored the final four goals of the game to emerge with a 5-4 victory against Bemidji State on Friday night at Sanford Center.

This may cheer up a few CC fans. The USHL Chicago Steel are enjoying an 8-3-1 start entering  league play this weekend and three future Tigers are a big reason why.  CC signee Alex Roos leads the team in scoring with 13 points (7 goals) in 12 games, while Christian Heil leads the team in goals with 10 (12 points).

Both Roos, a 17-year-old Prairie Grove, Illinois native, and Heil, an 18-year-old who hails from Westminster, Colo, are joined by former Tiger and Steel assistant coach R.J. Enga and Carolina draft pick Jaccob Slavin, of Erie, Colo., also a Tigers signee. Enga and Slavin, a defenseman, missed games to win gold for Team USA at the the recent World Junior A Challenge.

Tigers sign six to letters of intent

From CC sports information …

Colorado College has received signed letters of intent from six hockey players who will enroll at and play for CC in the future, head coach Scott Owens announced today.

The newest list of Tigers-to-be includes four forwards and two defensemen. Several will join previous signees Christian Heil, Matt Hansen and Jaccob Slavin as freshmen next fall when CC makes its debut as a founding member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The others will arrive in time for the 2014-15 season.

The group is comprised of forwards Zach Aman (Johnstown, PA), Daniel Labosky (Edina, MN), Alex Roos (Prairie Grove, IL) and Sam Rothstein (Minnetonka, MN), along with blue-line specialists Garrett Cecere (West Des Moines, IA) and Gustav Olofsson (Broomfield, CO).

Five of the six come to Colorado College from the United States Hockey League as Aman currently plays at the Tier I Junior A level for the Indiana Ice, Cecere for the Tri-City Storm, Olofsson for the Green Bay Gamblers, Roos for the Chicago Steel and Rothstein for the Sioux Falls Stampede. Labosky skates for Benilde St. Margaret’s High School in St. Louis Park, Minn.

For the rest of the article, click here.

Thursday reading: WCHA column, Winkler, Heil, Rothstein, Enga, Slavvin

I started new irregular features in the weekly WCHA column on USCHO, one focusing on an “unsung hero” for Bemidji State who has a young daughter and wife and still manages to find time to be a league academic honoree and log a lot of quality ice time for the Beavers. The Series Spotlight segment, naturally, deals with CC and Denver this weekend starting the annual battle for the Gold Pan Trophy, pictured.

CC senior Scott Winkler has the best numbers of any NCAA prospect for the Stars, especially in plus/minus.

Chicago Steel forward and CC commit Christian Heil scored two goals in 34 seconds during the third period of Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Indiana.  It gives the 18-year-old five goals over his last four games and pushed him into a tie for third in the USHL with 10 goals this season.

Future Tiger Sam Rothstein scored two goals for the Sioux Falls Stampede Saturday in the team’s USHL-leading eighth home win.

Former Tiger RJ Enga and CC commit Jaccob Slavin played key roles in Team USA’s World Junior A challenge championship. Enga served at an assistant coach while Slavin was an assistant captain.

Former Penn State club coach Joe Battista penned this column praising Air Force coach Frank Serratore and hockey people in general.

S.F. Stampede forward commits to CC

From the USHL …

The Sioux Falls Stampede announced that forward Sam Rothstein has committed to play hockey at Colorado College following his USHL career.

Rothstein has put up eight points (4g, 4a) in eight games this season for the Stampede, including a USHL career high five-point game (2g, 3a) in the 6-5 victory over Fargo on Oct. 13.

That performance came one night after he scored the game-winning goal in the 4-2 victory against Indiana.

He went on to share honors as the CCM Forward of the Week for his efforts.

The 19-year-old from Minnetonka, Minnesota played 14 games for the Stampede last season, collecting seven points (3g, 4a). His bio follows.

#9 Sam Rothstein
Born: 8/31/1993
Position: Forward
Height: 5’10
Weight: 165
Hometown: Minnetonka
Previous Team: Minnetonka HS/Stampede
Previous Stats: GP:12 G:3 A:4 PTS:7
Nicknames: Sammy, Slammy
Favorite Hockey Player: Patrick Kane
Favorite Hockey Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Hobbies: Volleyball, raquet sports
Greatest Influence on career: Dad
If I were forced to give up all my possessions but one, I’d keep: Phone
Favorite TV Show: White Collar

Seven other current USHL players are also committed to Colorado College – Christian Heil (Chicago Steel), Alex Roos (Chicago Steel), Jaccob Slavin (Chicago Steel), Gustav Olofsson (Green Bay Gamblers), Zach Aman (Indiana Ice), Matt Hansen (Omaha Lancers), and Garrett Cecere (Tri-City Storm).

Colorado College is a member of the WCHA and has 15 USHL alumni on the Tigers roster this season; Joe Marciano (Omaha Lancers), Aaron Harstad (Green Bay Gamblers), Peter Stoykewych (Des Moines Buccaneers), Eamonn McDermott (Fargo Force), Cody Bradley (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Jordan DiGiando (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Alex Krushelnyski (Sioux City Musketeers), Charlie Taft (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Scott Wamsganz (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Ian Young (Fargo Force), Peter Maric (Green Bay Gamblers), Jared Hanson (Lincoln Stars), Scott Winkler (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), William Rapuzzi (Green Bay Gamblers), and Joe Howe (Waterloo Black Hawks).

Additionally, Tigers head coach Scott Owens and assistant coach Eric Rud have both had coaching stints in the USHL.

More Thursday reading: Enga, WCHA notebook, NHL family links, CC-UMass Lowell connections, Denver, Air Force preview video

Former Tiger R.J. Enga, an assistant with the USHL’s Chicago Steel where CC commits Christian Heil, Jaccob Slavin and Alex Roos play, will serve as an assistant for the U.S. team at the World Junior A Challenge next month.

Here is my first USCHO notebook on the WCHA. I wrote the portions dealing with Alabama-Huntsville, the arrested ref, senior Joe Howe, Denver and part of the Omaha arena blurb.

Three Tigers’ fathers all played in the NHL. The Gazette looks into how that affected the sons, Cody Bradley, Alexander Krushelnyski and Charlie Taft.

Here are the weekly CC preview notes.

Former Pikes Peak Miner and Colorado Springs native Josh Holmstrom said he is excited to get to play in Colorado for the first time in his college career at No. 10 UMass Lowell. I plan to write a feature on him and his older brother Ben Holmstrom, now in the Flyers organization with Jeff Dimmen and Mike Testwuide, for next week’s Woodmen Edition.

Lowell head coach Norm Bazin and associate head coach Jason Lammers both served as assistants under CC coach Scott Owens, which is partly why this series became possible.

Denver’s Nolan Zajac chose DU despite his older brothers going to North Dakota. Their father Tom was a Pioneer in the 1970s.

Air Force coach Frank Serratore talks about last weekend and the upcoming CC and Denver games in this video:

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Former SSM standout commits to CC

The Indiana Ice announced Friday that 5-foot-11 forward Zach Aman committed to playing for Colorado College of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

There was no word on a commit date but 2013 is likely judging from his 3 goals and one assist in five preseason games. He did not record a point in the Ice’s season opening 3-2 loss to the Chicago Steel on Friday.

In that game, he took on three future teammates in Alex Roos (one goal), Christian Heil (one assist) and defenseman Jaccob Slavin. Roos’ unassisted goal early the third period proved to be the game-winner.

Aman, listed at 189 pounds, joins the Indy roster this season after spending last season with Shattuck-St. Mary’s, the powerhouse prep program in Faribault, Minn.

He finished the season fourth on the squad in goals (25) and assists (41) for a combined 66 points while a teammate with CC freshman Hunter Fejes. The Sabres won the 2012 USA Hockey U18 National Championships in Williamsville, NY.

The Johnstown, Pa. native is the second Ice player to commit to the Tigers after freshman forward Cody Bradley committed to the Colorado Springs institution last season.

Here is a link to his Ice bio.

Monday reading: WCHA schedule, J. Schwartz, Heil, Slavin, Roos

The WCHA announced its composite schedule last week. Here is the press release.

Some think former Tiger Jaden Schwartz will have a breakout year this coming season for St. Louis. Sportsnet.ca predicts the same.

CC fans will want to follow the Chicago Steel of the USHL. Three future Tigers — Christian Heil, Jaccob Slavin and Alex Roos — are on the junior team’s 2012-13 roster.

New SCSU assistant Garrett Raboin chose to leave his playing days behind with the arrival of his and his wife’s first child.

The first goalie to win the Hobey Baker is inducted into his hometown Hall of Fame.

The RPI fan blog put out a well-written and thoughtful take on the the Sandusky scandal and how it may affect Penn State and college hockey.

Seven sign on with Tigers; four coming this fall

Here is the CC press release ….

Colorado College has received signed letters of intent from seven hockey players who will enroll at and play for CC in the future, head coach Scott Owens announced today.

The list of Tigers-to-be includes five forwards and two defensemen. Four will join the team later this year as freshmen on the 2012-13 roster, while three more will arrive in time for the 2013-14 season.
Additions for the ’12-13 campaign are center Cody Bradley of Tampa, Fla., left wing Hunter Fejes of Anchorage, Alaska, and right wing Jared Hanson of Palmer, Alaska, along with defenseman Michael King of Prince George, British Columbia.

“We are very pleased with the talent, skill and character of this group,” said Owens. “Joe and Eric (assistant coaches Joe Bonnett and Eric Rud) have done a great job of bringing this class together. We’re bringing in an excellent mix of hockey ability, size and players who come from winning programs. I’m very excited to see them on the ice in the fall and to watch their development while at Colorado College.”

Bradley, 5-10 and 166 pounds, has played in 15 games for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League this season, scoring six goals and adding four assists. In time split between Dubuque and the USHL’s Indiana Ice, he’s collected 18 points (9g,9a) in 31 games. His father, Brian Bradley, played 14 years in the National Hockey League before retiring with 503 career points (182g,321a) in 1998. The Fighting Saints wrap up their regular season this weekend before opening Clark Cup playoffs action as a No. 3 seed in the USHL East.

“Cody is a skilled, clever center iceman,” Owens said. “He has the ability to score goals and to distribute the puck as well. He gets around the sheet very well and is suited to our style of play here at CC.”

Fejes, a standout at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn., is ranked 91st among North American skaters in the final 2012 draft rankings released earlier this week by the National Hockey League. At 6-1 and 191 pounds, he is expected to be selected within the top five rounds in June. Shattuck-St. Mary’s, a perennial powerhouse in the USA Hockey Tier I Under-18 ranks, recently claimed its fifth national championship in nine years with an overall record of 50-5-2. Fejes led the team with 38 goals and finished second with 78 points in 55 games.

“Hunter is a power left wing who also can score,” said Owens. “He has the ability to get to the net front and makes good things happen down low.”

The 6-0, 190-pound Hanson, currently in his second full season with the USHL West-leading Lincoln Stars, has compiled 51 points (26g,25a), four game-winning goals and a +29 plus-minus rating in 53 appearances so far in 2011-12. Lincoln currently leads the second-place Omaha Lancers by one point in the conference standings, with two games to play. The Stars finished fifth in the West Conference during Hanson’s rookie season in 2010-11.

“Jared has had an excellent season for Lincoln,” Owens said. “He’s continued to get better and better all year long. He’s a goal scorer, with 22 of his 26 tallies so far having come in 5-on-5 situations.”

King, 6-4 1/2 and 210 pounds, finished the 2011-12 season with the Lloydminster Bobcats of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He collected 19 points (4g,15a) in 32 games with the Westside Warriors of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League before being traded, then added a power-play goal and two assists in five appearances, including a pair of playoff games, with Lloydminster. In 2010-11, he compiled 23 points (5g,18a) while playing in 48 outings for Westside.

“Michael has very good foot speed and stick skills for a young man his size,” said Owens. That range and mobility will enable him to improve and develop throughout the season as he adjusts to the tempo and rigor of the WCHA.”

Also signing letters of intent to join the Tiger Hockey family a year later, in time for the 2013-14 season and CC’s debut as a member of the of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, were forwards Matt Hansen of St. Cloud, Minn., and Christian Heil of Westminster, Colo., as well as defenseman Jaccob Slavin of Erie, Colo., who all will play another year of junior hockey before launching their collegiate careers.

“Matt, Christian and Jaccob represent the beginning of a projected, very strong class in 2013,” said Owens, who has compiled a record of 299-185-43 (.608) in 13 years behind the bench. “All three are playing significant minutes for their respective junior teams at this time. Matt has tremendous speed and skill, Christian is a power forward with the ability to make plays and finish, and Jaccob plays both ends of the rink extremely well as an offensive ‘D-man’ who can defend as well. We are extremely pleased to have them as future Tigers and look forward to monitoring their progress next season.”

Hansen, who actually signed his letter of intent previously, currently plays for the Austin (Minn.) Bruins of the North American Hockey League, while Heil and Slavin are teammates with the Chicago Steel of the USHL.

Tigers To Be
Name                Pos.    Hgt.     Wgt.     Shoots        DOB            Hometown                              Arrival at CC

Cody Bradley       C      5-10     166            L           5/26/94          Tampa, Fla./Dubuque (USHL)          2012-13
Hunter Fejes      LW      6-1       191            L           5/31/94         Anchorage/Shattuck-St. Mary’s       2012-13
Christian Heil        F      6-1       178            L           3/25/95         Westminster/Chicago (USHL)         2013-14
Matt Hansen         F     5-10      163            R           5/11/93          St. Cloud, Minn./Austin (NAHL)       2013-14
Jared Hanson    RW     6-0       190            R           1/24/93        Palmer, Alaska/Lincoln(USHL)      2012-13
Michael King        D      6-4 1/2   210            R           1/22/93      Prince George, B.C./(AJHL)          2012-13
Jaccob Slavin      D       6-2       170            L            5/1/94           Erie, Colo./Chicago(USHL)            2013-14